Now this is a book I heard about last last year, at one of the last Script Club socials we had. I also learned that this was actually one of the books in Oprah’s Book Club in 2018 – now that’s all the reason I needed to at least see what this book was all about.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is the story of a young Black American couple, from the Southern states of Louisiana and Georgia in the US in the late 20th century. Having met at college (university) this couple later get married and the husband, Roy, is wrongfully accused of rape and sentenced to 12 years in prison. For the former years of his sentence, the wife, Celestial waits faithfully and patiently all the while supporting her incarcerated husband. But this later proves difficult…
Portions of the story are told in first person from the point of view of Roy, then Celestial, and back and forth. And then also through the eyes of other minor characters. As the reader, we really get to explore the motivations and emotions of Roy and Celestial as they navigate the terrible hand that life that dealt them both. Their story flits between the past and the presentTheir reality speaks to the reality of the American judicial system, particularly as it pertains to Black and Brown people in the US today and it’s utterly painful to watch. “Watch” because every story read plays out in your mind right? Especially, since I “read” this book by listening on Audible. Brilliant performance.
Good read. Great writing. Sad story. An important story.